Week 1 (of 10) for my R2R2R journey is in the books! Five solid days of running, 5315 elevation gain, longest run 14.3 miles, one mountain bike ride (with two bear encounters if you didn't catch that on my Instagram or Facebook pages), one day of Powercranks, two days of weights and at least 100-200 pushups and 10-30 pullups each day.
Total mileage this week was 44.4. I believe that is the highest I have seen it in some time (since my Leadville training days) and boy is my body feeling it! More on this later. Total TSS (training stress score) was 468 (although I don't count weights and pushups/pullups in the total).
What I learned this week...well, the most obvious is that I need to get another pair of shoes. Hoka's are my go to shoe brand for long, ultra distance run training, especially given my Achilles tendonitis issues (I've had this in both Achilles for about 10 years now). I've been cycling through a few older pair of Hoka's but they are definitely on their last leg and causing more pain so I buckled up and ordered a pair of Hoka Speedgoat 2 trail shoes. I really wanted to try the new Hoka Torrent trail shoes but budget restrictions have me only being able to purchase one pair. Some day though, I'm going to give the Torrent's a try as they are supposed to be super nimble and grippy.
Aside from that, training has been solid this week. More miles than I am used to but I plan on keeping my weekly miles around 35-50 leading up to the R2R2R. The hard part is that I need to get some serious elevation gain and loss in my runs and this type of training really pisses off my Achilles. So, I will get creative with my weight training to build some strength without taxing the Achilles as much. The real key to this equation is my recovery. It's pretty easy to go out and trash the body with training but if you don't employ some serious recovery strategies, you won't get too far.
Nutritionally, I am following a somewhat metabolically efficient (read more about metabolic efficiency HERE) nutrition plan but definitely including more carbohydrates on the days in which I run longer (can you say Nutrition Periodization!). So far, I've been using Generation UCAN Hydrate watermelon in my water bottle during almost all of my run training and will have another serving with Hydrate mixed with tart cherry concentration (THIS brand is my favorite) post run to begin my post-run nutrition recovery. I will start using UCAN energy bars and powder in the upcoming weeks as I get a bit longer runs under my belt. I am also coming up on week 4 of using CBD oil (specifically the iKOR brand and have been doubling the dosage on my longer training days to see if there is added benefit. I can't tell yet but my sleep is still so much better since I have been taking iKOR. And as we know, sleep is a huge part of recovery!
Physical recovery is usually a methodical process for me. I normally start off my day with 5-10 minutes of myofascial release using the Trigger Point Grid and usually use RockTape Rock Floss before my runs. I have found that as I get older, my body definitely appreciates a little more TLC in these departments. Spending a few minutes using these products really helps loosen my muscles and fascia a bit, which allows me to run more economically. Post runs, since my Achilles have been yelling at me quite a bit, I am quick to repeat the use of these modalities when I return from more vertical based trail runs. I also throw in about 5-10 minutes of some yoga poses aimed to target my posterior chain at night and do some balance work on a disc to help improve strength and stability in my ankles (I have twisted my right one twice in the past two months). I also do quite a bit of elastic band work to improve the strength in my hips. All runners should be doing this as hip strength, stability and mobility are so key to stay injury free.
My secret weapon this week has been using Compex in the active recovery mode after some of my runs to facilitate better recovery. On days when I have time, I also use my Recovery Pump compression boots/legs. I've had them for about 4 years now and they are an integral part of my recovery program! As you can see, I emphasize recovery about as much as I do training, if not more!
Not that it is recovery based but I have been playing with the Halo Sport unit before some of my longer runs and while I am still early in my experimentation, I do feel a bit more "primed" and able to engage better form after my neuropriming sessions. It's hard to describe but stay tuned...I'll take some photos in the upcoming weeks to show you what this looks like and keep you updated on my progress with this device.
I should be getting my new Hoka's mid week so I plan to tackle a bit more vertical to try them out and see how they react on my Achilles. More on that next week.
Oh, and just in case you are wondering, I am not following a training program. I know about how many miles I want to get per week and I am going to follow what I call a "flexibility with rules" plan that allows me to go by feel. If I feel like running tomorrow, I will. If not, I won't stress out about it. But, I will get something in, whether it is a mountain bike ride, a strength session, Powercranks or a solid, weighted hike.
Onto the week!